Santander and Nationwide reduce mortgage product transfer window – what does it mean?

4 min Read Published: 14 Jun 2024

Santander and Nationwide reduce mortgage product transfer window - what does it mean?Nationwide and Santander mortgage customers approaching the end of their fixed mortgage period will now have to wait longer before being able to secure a new mortgage deal. Although customers could previously secure a new mortgage deal up to 6 months before their current deal expired, they can now only do so up to 4 months before their current mortgage product's end date.

What will the change mean for Nationwide and Santander mortgage customers?

Initially, the change to allow residential mortgage holders to lock in a new mortgage deal up to 6 months ahead of the end of their current mortgage deal was a way of helping them gain some control during a period of time when interest rates were on the rise. The government’s mortgage charter, introduced in June 2023, laid out a number of ways in which lenders would support mortgage customers facing the difficult effects of increasing mortgage interest rates and this is one of them.

Borrowers could start the remortgaging process early, secure a mortgage rate and switch it if a better rate became available before the transfer date. Borrowers would only become tied to the locked-in mortgage deal 14 days before the existing mortgage deal expired, providing plenty of time to consider alternative mortgage deals before committing.

Around 49 lenders signed up to the mortgage charter, which means that over 90% of the mortgage market offered this opportunity to arrange a mortgage product transfer earlier than was previously possible.

Nationwide and Santander mortgage customers will now have to wait 2 months longer than most other mortgage holders before they are able to secure a product transfer deal without incurring an early repayment charge. You can read more about early repayment charges in our article, “How to avoid mortgage early repayment charges & how they work”.

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What’s behind the change?

Although mortgage interest rates have been increasing over the early part of 2024, we have seen rates stabilise and somewhat plateau more recently. According to Moneyfacts, based on a 75% loan-to-value (LTV), the average 2-year fixed rate increased slightly by 0.04% between 7th May and 4th June this year, while the average 5-year fixed rate fell by 0.03% over the same period.

You can keep an eye on current remortgage deals using our mortgage rate comparison tool, which allows you to search the market for the best rates based on your specific mortgage needs.

This may mean that borrowers are less concerned about securing a new mortgage rate early due to the relatively more stable mortgage market, and Santander and Nationwide have cited this as one of the reasons for shortening the advance window for product transfers.

How early can you lock in a remortgage deal?

Although many lenders continue to offer up to six months to secure a new mortgage deal ahead of the end of your current mortgage deal period, you should check this as other lenders could follow suit. At the time of writing, we have found that TSB Bank, Yorkshire Building Society and Coventry Building Society also offer less than six months to arrange a product transfer.

When can I secure a product transfer deal?

Lender Advance period to secure a new mortgage product transfer^
Lloyds Bank 6 months
NatWest 6 months
Nationwide 4 months
Santander 4 months
Barclays 180 days
HSBC 180 days
Virgin Money 180 days
Yorkshire Building Society 120 days
Coventry Building Society 4 months
TSB Bank 3 months

^This indicates the earliest that you can choose to lock-in a new mortgage deal with your current lender in advance of when your current mortgage deal expires, without paying an early repayment charge. 

How to prepare to remortgage

If you are among the 1.5 million mortgage holders who will remortgage during 2024, or are planning ahead for a fixed-period deal that will expire in early 2025, you should start planning it now. As with any financial exercise, it is good to collect all of your current information. Check when your current mortgage deal will expire, what your mortgage balance is likely to be at that point and which, if any, fees may apply when you remortgage.

This is usually a good time to consider whether you wish to overpay your mortgage loan, as you can do so without penalty as part of the remortgaging process. Alternatively, you may wish to raise more capital for your financial needs or to consolidate debts, and this is usually a good time to do this as well. If you simply wish to secure a new mortgage deal on the basis of your existing mortgage balance, this should be fairly straightforward.

You can choose to contact your current mortgage lender, if they haven't already contacted you, to find out which mortgage deals are available to you. You usually won't need to complete further affordability checks and your lender may not request a valuation of your home, although it is wise to point out any changes that may have increased its value. Better mortgage rates are available to those with a lower loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and even a small increase in the value of your home could move you down from one LTV band to another where you may qualify for a more competitive mortgage deal.

Alternatively, you can use the services of a mortgage broker to search the wider mortgage market and potentially remortgage to a new lender. Mortgage brokers will help you to consider mortgage deals from across the mortgage market as well as your own lender's mortgage offerings. This could help you secure a more competitive mortgage deal, saving you money and providing you with useful assistance. Also, lenders sometimes offer broker-only mortgage deals which you may not be able to access as a direct customer.

If you don't have a mortgage broker, you can contact the online mortgage broker, Habito* - the brokers are well-versed in remortgaging and have access to over 90 lenders' mortgage deals. Habito does not charge a fee for its services so it won't cost you anything extra to gain the assistance of a Habito mortgage broker. Alternatively, you can search for a mortgage broker near you using the online professional directory services provided by Vouchedfor*.



If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses or take advantage of any exclusive offers - Habito, Vouchedfor